Harker families who came out on a sunny Saturday afternoon in early March for a special “Sneak Peek” event were treated to an early glimpse of the school’s recently acquired third campus and the director for the proposed preschool opening there, Andrea Hart.
“We couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day and the campus looked even better with the addition of young children playing and laughing. It was wonderful to meet so many families and talk about our plans for the preschool and beyond,” said Kelly Espinosa, director of summer and preschool programs, “and having Andrea here was the icing on the cake.”
Upper school students served as tour guides, providing attendees with information about the campus. Many of the student guides had been at Harker since they were very young and shared how much their experiences at the school meant to them. Following the tour light refreshments were served as the engaging discussions continued.
Adding to the excitement of the day was a visit from Hart, who was hired just before the event and thrilled to be able to meet Harker parents.
“As you can imagine, hiring the director of our new program has been a very important first step in our process,” said Espinosa. “We had very specific requirements for this new position and we are so excited to have found Andrea Hart.”
Andrea Hart Joins Harker
Hart is a Bay Area native most recently at the Klingenstein Center for Independent School Leadership at Columbia University. Previously she spent 11 years at the Bing Nursery School, the play-based laboratory preschool at Stanford University, and she started her career years before that in local Montessori preschools.
At Stanford, Hart taught two- to five-year-olds, mentored undergraduate student teachers and led parent education efforts at the Bing Institute. She also stayed connected to a wider community of educators through volunteering on a local board, the Peninsula Association for the Education of Young Children, and has run educational conferences for local early childhood professionals.
Hart’s first preschooler students are now seniors in college! Since that time, she has developed the philosophy that a child learns best through play, varied hands-on experiences, and interacting with educated and thoughtful teachers. It is from this foundation, she believes, that young children are best prepared to thrive in later school experiences. Hart is excited to return to the Bay Area and help Harker with the creation of an exceptional preschool that nurtures young children and leads to personal and academic success in later years.
One of Hart’s first tasks will be to begin the search for our educated and thoughtful preschool teachers. She is well connected in the preschool world and has already found some wonderful candidates. Harker as a whole is thrilled to have her leading this project and looks forward to the benefits the preschool will gain from her experience, knowledge and dedication to the development of young children and families for many years to come!
Look for future updates about the new Union campus and Harker preschool in future Harker News Online stories.